Ashoka was founded in 1981 by Bill Drayton and in over 35 years, Ashoka has become the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide with more than 3000 Ashoka Fellows working in 93 countries putting their system-changing ideas into practice on a global scale.
Ashoka Netherlands, part of the Ashoka European Hub, was launched in 2014. Our aim is to stimulate and support the most innovative entrepreneurial solutions to the social and environmental challenges we face today and, together with our inspiring stakeholders, our goal is to create an “Everyone A Changemaker” world. This means equipping more people, including young people, with the skillset and a connection to purpose so that they can contribute ideas and effectively solve problems in their worlds - be it in their family, community, city, workplace, field, industry, country, or beyond. We provide professional support services and connections to a global network across the business and social sectors, and a platform for people dedicated to changing the world.
Our longest running program is the Venture and Fellowship program, where we select catalytic social entrepreneurs, with the potential to not only achieve impact in their organization, but change a whole system. We have selected the region’s most innovative and system-changing problem solvers to join our community.
We are also building a community of education institutions that prioritize the cultivation of empathy, teamwork, leadership, and changemaking in their students. The first step has been to identify and select an exemplary network of 9 Changemaker Schools in The Netherlands, where students are empowered to become changemakers- young people who have the skills and confidence to change the world for the common good. We connect these changemakers to each other, and to our Global Change Leaders (GCL) network worldwide.
We also focus on Co-Creation and Changemaker Alliances where social entrepreneurs, businesses, and policy makers complement each other’s skills and expertise to take on challenges that no one could solve alone, and simultaneously have access to new strategic win-win opportunities. We have run several successful co-creation programs with our group of corporate and private partners. The 2016 Globalizer program with the Philips Foundation is a good example of such a co-creation project.
Always supporting us in these programs, is the Ashoka Support Network (ASN), a community of highly skilled professionals and business people, with a passion for creative and entrepreneurial change. They share our vision and support our fellows financially as well as strategically, offering their time, network and expertise.